Eyes Open Creative are now promoting a volunteer opportunity. We are looking for an enthusiastic and self-motivated person to help identify new opportunities within health and further education, in order to help increase the reach of the My Dangerous Loverboy campaign to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation. This is your chance to get involved! Create.Inspire.Change.
Tags: porn, sex education, young people
Last night, Channel 4 aired the first controversial programme as part of its Campaign for Real Sex. Porn on the Brain was a film authored by Martin Daubney, ex-editor of lads’ mag Loaded. Pornography has received a lot of attention from the press of late, about the effects it could potentially have on our children and young people. Driven by this, and the fact that most children first see porn at age 10, Daubney set out to explore the science and reality of porn in today’s society.
Daubney acknowledges that when he was young, porn existed but you had to try extremely hard to get hold of it, and it was expensive. In today’s society, advances in technology and the internet mean that there is an increased availability of porn via social networks and smart phones. The young people that Martin meets tell him how porn is becoming unavoidable. For example, if their friend on Facebook comments on or ‘Likes’ an explicit video then the material becomes visible in their own news feed. It therefore seems that, whether or not you agree with the consumption of pornography, our freedom of choice about whether or not to consume it is being taken away. As such, children and young people are being exposed to this material whether they want to or not.
Schools are not obliged to teach anything more than the basic biology of sex and the dangers of having it. Thus, there are many questions that go unanswered, which leads young people to seek knowledge online. Gail Dines, author of Pornland, notes that when a young person types ‘porn’ into Google, they are “catapulted into a world of sexual violence, sexual cruelty…” Young boys and girls do not have their own experiences of sex to draw from and so this is their first introduction to sex. Dines argues that porn is “sexually traumatising” an entire generation of young people, and in particular, boys. Porn gives young boys a skewed version of sex. Dines notes that, essentially, young people are looking at hardcore porn for their sex education.
Daubney asks whether violent porn creates violence towards women and in her interviews with young women, Dines has noticed an increased level of violence in their sex lives, with partners wanting to act out scenes they have seen in pornography. It seems young men are getting their sexual cues from the men in porn. John Woods, at the Portman Clinic, admits that although there is difficulty proving the connection between violent imagery and violent behaviour, clinically he does see a connection – the young sex offenders that Woods sees are more and more likely to be compulsive porn users.
A young man called Callum (aged 19) is featured in the programme, and openly admits that he feels he is addicted to pornography. He describes the urge to obtain sexual satisfaction as a loss of control and says that porn has a “powerful grip on his life”. A particularly disturbing part of the programme is when Callum is driving along and sees a young girl walking down the street in hotpants and it triggers his desire for arousal and satisfaction. He quickly finds a place to stop and goes to a pub toilet to relieve himself. When asked what triggered him, he says, “It’s the little things in what [girls] wear and the way they walk, that does it.” Apart from getting in the way of day to day life, Callum’s obsession with porn affects his sex life. He talks about girls as sexual objects – the type of sex he has with them depends on “what they have to offer”. But he goes on to say that real sex is not as good as masturbating to porn, because the real girls aren’t as good as the porn stars – they lack confidence. In fact, Callum admits that he is annoyed because he doesn’t get the pleasure he thinks he should be getting with real girls. Every spare minute of Callum’s day is spent watching porn because it is right there at his fingertips – easily accessible and free to download on his mobile.
For me there are two issues that stand out in this programme that we must address. First of all, porn is everywhere – as already acknowledged by the Children’s Commissioner’s report and, as much as porn is becoming more extreme, it is the availability/accessibility of porn that is the problem. David Cameron has recently suggested a ‘porn filter’ for households in the UK, but this may not be as easy and feasible as it sounds and we can only do so much to prevent children seeing explicit material online. The second issue therefore, is to educate our children and young people so that i) they are not inclined to seek answers from pornography on the Internet, and ii) they are aware of pornography as a form of fantasy and not real life sex. It is with this, that I feel there needs to be a real push for pornography to be discussed openly and honestly, as part of our children’s sex and relationships education in schools. Parents must also take responsibility for talking to their children about porn, such that, when (and not if) they are exposed to it, they can see it for what it is.
For more information about the programme and advice about talking to children about pornography visit the Channel 4 website.
Calling for better sex and relationships education for children and young people is a key issue for Eyes Open Creative that will help in the wider fight against child sexual exploitation (CSE). My Dangerous Loverboy is a pioneering campaign from Eyes Open that aims to raise awareness and increase understanding of the sexual exploitation of children and young people.
If you work with children and young people aged 11+ the Love or Lies? education resource pack provides lesson plans and activities for one-to-one and group work to help educate young people about CSE.
‘Brilliant.’ ‘Fantastic.’ ‘Superb.’ These are just some of the comments made from attendees at the Child Sexual Exploitation Training Day hosted in the Wirral yesterday. Delivered by Marilyn Haughton, attendees were exposed to the realities of Child Sexual Exploitation through the retelling of real life events which, coupled with training on how to tackle CSE, allowed the group to become well informed upon the subject.
The training session allowed front line practitioners and teachers to discover the importance and prevalence of Child Sexual Exploitation in this country. Coupled with the distribution of the ‘Love or Lies?’ Education Resource pack, the group were taught how to use the My Dangerous Loverboy film and accompanying lesson plans to engage with young people and incite discussion upon healthy relationships. After watching the My Dangerous Loverboy, the group were able to experiment how to use the ‘Love or Lies’ pack by looking through the eyes of a young person whilst others practised delivering the resource as teachers and practitioners.
Using her years of work in the field, Marilyn Haughton used her own experiences to put Child Sexual Exploitation into context for the group. As an experienced practitioner, counsellor and vice chair of the National Working Group for Sexually Exploited Children and Young People, Marilyn is an esteemed leader in this field. Attendees commented that she was both ‘very informed,’ and ‘down to earth,’ with an overwhelming consensus that the training that was delivered was ‘excellent.’
We would like to thank the Public Protection Unit at the NHS in the Wirral for holding the event.
However, we would like to thank most all the participants who attended the event yesterday for their contribution and input throughout the whole day which sparked motivating and engaging discussions.
If you would like to know more about our training days, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW: ‘Love or Lies?’ pack reviewed by the PSHE Association
Some of the excellent comments we received:
“Love or Lies?’ helps schools re-balance Sex and Relationships Education so that ‘relationships’ receives more attention. The manual contains background information and a range of student and staff activities with well-defined learning outcomes”
“Intended for KS3 and KS4 students in schools or other settings, the activities are very much about active learning and cover a variety of topics”
“This is an excellent resource which deserves to be made available to schools and youth settings”
Read the whole review here
Download our free lesson plan:
To get a taster of our ‘Love or Lies?’ Education resource for use with young people at Key Stage 3 and 4 you can download the pack sample below (a pdf document with over 20 pages) which includes background information, training materials and a free lesson plan for use with young people. All we ask is that you pay for this sample with a tweet!
About Eyes Open Creative:
We campaign, raise awareness and produce pioneering education resources to tackle social injustices and make positive social change. We do this by producing high quality digital content, such as short films, animations and by using music to communicate to our audiences in an empowering, non-judgemental way. We combine practitioner experience with expertise in digital communication to create impactful, cutting edge educational resources for adults and young people.
What makes us different?
Our activities differ from those of commercial and other not-for-profit organisations in that we engage with young people as intelligent consumers and potential co-creators of the content we make and distribute. Our benchmarks of success are measured in terms of interaction, participation and socially positive outcomes.
Who do we support?
Our audiences are young people, teachers and front line practitioners working with/on behalf of young people and children (youth workers, child protection officers and members of like-minded organisations). We provide exciting resources and front line training to those practitioners who share our create, inspire & change philosophy.
What have we achieved so far?
May 2012 – Our free Lesson Plan, brand new ‘Paper Fortune Teller’ resource and CSE Campaign Poster up for grabs on TES Resources, NEW website to promote ‘Love or Lies?’ launched.
April 2012 – Confirmed attendance at a busy calendar of events and conferences for the spring/summer
March 2012 – New Framework launched in Stockport following the schools campaign
February 2012 – Eyes Open Creative in the Sheffield Telegraph. Read the full online article here
January 2012 – Our ‘Love or Lies?’ Education Resource Pack receives an excellent independent review from the PSHE Association. Read the review here.
January 2012 – An additional 1000 copies of the ‘Love or Lies?’ pack are printed to meet the growing demand for educational tools about healhty relationships and the dangers of grooming, trafficking and sexual exploitation. Learn more about the pack here
December 2011 – Eyes Open Creative receives a Key Fund grant to help launch the ‘My Dangerous Loverboy’ campaign. Find out about the grant here.
January 2011 – Our ‘My Dangerous Loverboy’ film and the issue of Child Sexual Exploitation gains national recognition in a full-page feature in the Times newspaper.
June 2010 – The ‘My Dangerous Loverboy’ film is nominated for the Cross Media Challenge Award at the Royal Television Society Yorkshire Centre Awards 2010 . Click here for photos.